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WrestleMania 40 Night 1 preview: The Rock makes in-ring return for crucial tag-team match

WrestleMania 40 Night 1 preview: The Rock makes in-ring return for crucial tag-team match

طوبیٰ Tooba 3 months ago 0 1

WrestleMania 40 descends on Philadelphia beginning on Saturday night in what’s expected to be the biggest WWE premium live event in the company’s history.

WrestleMania will take place at Lincoln Financial Field – the home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The weather is supposed to be cleared up after rain swamped the Northeast for much of the week.

WWE’s chief content officer, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, revealed the card for the first night of WrestleMania earlier in the week. One match will have implications for Night 2 and there will be three matches with championship implications.

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Here’s what fans can expect.

Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns & The Rock

The Rock confronts Cody Rhodes

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Cody Rhodes face off on stage during the WWE Wrestlemania XL Kickoff on Feb. 8, 2024, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Louis Grasse/PXimages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The path to the biggest tag-team match in WWE history was filled with jagged stones.

Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble match for the second year in a row, conceivably setting up a rematch with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40 for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. A wrench was thrown into that plan when The Rock came back to WWE and challenged Reigns for the championship to set up what may have been a major event.

Seth Rollins even made the case for Rhodes to fight him for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Rollins won earlier in the year to become the top dog on RAW. But even as it appeared Rhodes was going to pass the torch to The Rock, swelling fan support influenced “The American Nightmare” to face off against Reigns for the title.

At the WrestleMania 40 kickoff in Las Vegas, the four men confronted each other, setting the stage for the tag-team match. The Rock slapped Rhodes across the face and the two sides had to be broken up.

In the days after, The Rock has since acknowledged Reigns as his Tribal Chief, has beaten up Rhodes on two different occasions, and laid down a stipulation for their match. If he and Reigns win, then Night 2’s championship match will be a Bloodline Rules Match.

Three of the four competitors will be involved in Night 2 and, if The Rock and Reigns win, then all four might have to pull double duty in Philly.

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch faces off against Rhea Ripley

Becky Lynch meets Rhea Ripley on stage during the WWE Wrestlemania XL Kickoff on Feb. 8, 2024, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Louis Grasse/PXimages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rhea Ripley main-evented WrestleMania 39 Night 1 and claimed the women’s championship from Charlotte Flair. After more than a year as champion, she will defend the RAW women’s title against Becky Lynch.

Ripley and Lynch are at the top of their games. Ripley has annihilated almost every female competitor in her path, including Nia Jax in her home country at Elimination Chamber in February. Lynch also had to get through Jax after winning the Elimination Chamber Match as Jax was unhappy with the result in the days after the premium live event.

Weeks of trash talking culminated in Lynch confronting Ripley on “The MMA Hour” and then a brawl on the final “Monday Night Raw” before ‘Mania. It’s safe to say things have been extremely heated between the top stars.

It could truly be the first chapter of a long-lasting feud.

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Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn

Sami Zayn in Houston

Sami Zayn talks to the crowd after winning his match during WWE Monday Night RAW at Toyota Center on March 11, 2024, in Houston, Texas. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Gunther has held the Intercontinental Championship for more than 400 days, but his reign could come to an end against a determined Sami Zayn. Both competitors had winning moments at WrestleMania 39, with Gunther defending his title against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre while Zayn and Kevin Owens won the Undisputed Tag Team Championship from The Usos.

Gunther has been dominant since WrestleMania 39, consistently defending his title against the likes of The Miz, Kofi Kingston and Chad Gable, among others. But Zayn appears hungry to grab some gold.

It’s been a long time since Zayn left The Bloodline and got out of the crosshairs of Reigns. He earned his shot at Gunther’s title in a gauntlet, topping Gable, Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet and JD McDonagh. He also has single wins over Ivar and Nakamura over the last month.

It will all come to a head on Saturday night.

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Jey Uso talks

Jey Uso talks to the crowd during WWE Monday Night RAW at Toyota Center on March 11, 2024, in Houston. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

The fight between Jey and Jimmy Uso has been a long time coming. It’s been a long couple of months for both brothers as Jey left The Bloodline and Jimmy solidified himself behind Reigns and Solo Sikoa. Both brothers defended Reigns and Sikoa in a Bloodline Civil War tag-team match at Money in the Bank.

But Jimmy’s face run would come to an end at SummerSlam when Jimmy pulled Jey out of the ring as he was about to pin Reigns to win their Tribal Combat match. Jey went on the next episode of SmackDown, superkicking the Bloodline and walking off the brand. He later revealed he would be joining RAW and trying to make amends to those he wronged while in the faction.

Jimmy continued to be a thorn in the side of the SmackDown roster, while Jey would briefly become tag-team champion with Rhodes.

With Rhodes turning his attention to the Bloodline, Jey Uso aligned himself with him. Jimmy would insert himself into Jey’s match against Gunther, costing him a shot at the Intercontinental Championship.

Naturally, only a match could settle the score between the two.

6-Pack ladder match for tag team titles

Damian Priest vs R-Truth

Damian Priest, right, wrestles R-Truth during WWE Monday Night RAW at Toyota Center on March 11, 2024, in Houston. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Tag teams and ladder matches have always been an epic combination. But with two sets of tag-team titles on the line and six different teams gunning for the championships, anything could really happen.

“Monday Night Raw” announcer Michael Cole said the match will end when both belts are taken down from the top of the ring. It could mean the Judgment Day – led by Finn Balor and Damian Priest may not be undisputed champions by the end of the night.

Here are the tag-team competitors in the match: The Miz & R-Truth, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, Austin Theory & Grayson Waller, Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate and Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa.

Jade Cargill, Naomi & Bianca Belair vs. Damage CTRL

Kairi Sane and Asuka team up

Kairi Sane and Asuka enter the ring during WWE Monday Night RAW at Toyota Center on March 11, 2024, in Houston. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

Damage CTRL appears to be at a crossroads as it heads into WrestleMania weekend. Iyo Sky will defend her women’s championship against Bayley in Night 2 after Sky, Dakota Kati, Kairi Sane and Asuka booted Bayley out of the Damage CTRL faction.

But while Sky focuses her attention on Bayley, the rest of the group will now have to take on Bianca Belair, Naomi and Jade Cargill. Belair has been dealing with members of Damage CTRL for about two years and will have some backup.

Naomi last appeared at WrestleMania 38 Night 2 with Sasha Banks as they won a fatal four-way tag match. Cargill is making her first WrestleMania appearance.

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Rey Mysterio & Andrade vs. Santos Escobar & Dominik Mysterio

Dominik Mysterio stretches Rey Mysterio

Dominik Mysterio wrestles Rey Mysterio during WrestleMania Goes Hollywood at SoFi Stadium on April 1, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Rey and Dominik Mysterio had an epic match at WrestleMania 39 with the elder WWE legend taking out the member of The Judgment Day. It appeared that their feud was on the shelf as Rey was recovering from a torn meniscus and Dominik was trying to keep the Judgment Day together.

But over the last few weeks, Dominik has aligned himself with Santos Escobar and the rest of Legado Del Fantasma. Rey returned to team with the LWO. Last week on “Friday Night SmackDown,” he demanded a tag-team match against his son and Escobar. He brought out Dragon Lee to partner with him.

On “Friday Night SmackDown,” Lee was attacked by an unknown assailant before Zelina Vega had a match with Elektra Lopez. Rey walked Vega and Escobar, Dominik and Andrade accompanied Lopez to the ring. After Lopez won the match, Escobar and Dominik beat down Rey. Andrade refused and turned on Escobar and Dominik.

Andrade signaled he was ready to team up with Rey and he replaced Lee.

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